|Welcome to CTG's Feb 2008 newsletter! This will be a brief one, with the aim of providing you, the user, with important information on the future of CTG.
Roncli addressed everyone on the forums, but as not everyone visits the forums, I feel it important to release roncli's statement in a news letter :-
I feel that it's only fair that someone provides the community here with an update as to what's been going on with CTG and its staff.
We all remember the big site outage back in June/July of last year. During that outage, Trax in Space made its return, albeit in beta. CTG would eventually return.
It can be said, however, that the site never fully recovered. Since coming back online, CTG has been in a clear downturn in terms of visitors, songs added, and general site activity.
I personally had never been so big into CTG, not like I was with Trax in Space anyway, or even with HomeMusic. CTG was a different place, but it was one that suited a lot of musicians. Gone were the stuffy rules and the strict reviewing policies, and it made way for what seemed to be a more relaxed atmosphere. I still released songs here, did some reviewing, even got a RotW once or twice. But one thing I remember about my times here is that they were always fun.
I talked with acecream a few times when I opened OSMusic in '05. I remember the respect I had for him and everything he did to put this site together, and to keep it alive by constantly improving it. I was quite amused to see one of the first features added to CTG after I opened OSM was the daily compo, an almost exact take of OSM's audition room. He had people willing to contribute articles, CTG mixes, and loads upon loads of music to a community that was excited to contribute.
acecream has since come and gone, and of course the big outage last year shook things up.
It was in November that slammy informed me that CTG was thinking of closing up, archiving what was here and walking away. Site activity was really low, and it seemed pointless to keep going. People had ideas, but no one had the motivation to carry them out. This was around the time I joined the staff, where I made an attempt to help stir things up and get people motivated. It went good for a while, but different people had different ideas, and it quickly got off topic. People became disinterested and staff activity lulled again.
Then we had what I'd like to call a bit of bad luck.
Randor, who was pretty much attempting to coordinate things amongst the staff, started having severe, long-term internet connectivity issues that extend even to today. He was pretty much the only thing keeping people going for a while, and his presence is very much missed.
There was also a long period of time when the staff had no access to the FTP site. I don't know when this happened, but it was discovered while we were discussing fixing the two major technical problems with the site, stopping spammers and fixing the "set my song to do not review" bug. For whatever reason, the password was lost or changed, and for whatever reason it was worse than pulling teeth to get this password back. Whatever. We have the password back now, and work on the site has resumed as early as yesterday.
During that time, slammy, Louigi Verona and xtr1m left the staff. Each person's reasons for leaving are their own, and I can respect that. But right there, CTG lost a lot of people with good ideas, good skills, and good community work.
The culmination of all of this is that you have a long term set of circumstances that have developed over time that really have worked against CTG's survival.
So, the short of it is that, despite the crappy conditions the staff has had to endure, we still have a team of individuals dedicated to improving the site. We're not going to destroy what's here and start over, but equally we're not going to leave alone what has become stagnant. There are plans to rebuild the code base, redesign the graphics and layout, add new and exciting features, and making CTG fun again.
That said, there are a lot of good ideas that have been brought up amongst the staff, but organization has been rather crappy. I have taken it upon myself to help get these ideas organized, and over the course of the coming weeks I hope to see an organized plan from the CTG staff that will outline what we want to do with the website.
I know that many of you have popped around ideas on how to improve the site, and I welcome any and all suggestions. A couple things to remember:
- We're not monetizing anything through CTG. This place is free, don't expect that to change.
- We're not out to mimic other websites. Yes, there are features that are to be desired, but if we do implement them, we will do our best to implement them as CTG's own feature, not just a copy of something else.
- We're all busy. I have a full time job, maintain about half a dozen websites, have some rather largeish projects on the side, and still find time to go raiding in World of Warcraft. Everyone is doing this of their own accord. Big changes will not happen overnight.
Who's working on this?
Me - I will be organizing and fitting in whatever coding I can find time for.
Drumstick - The guy with the most CTG coding experience on the staff right now.
slammy - What can I say? He's sometimes retired, sometimes not. He's taken an interest in trying to give this place a facelift, a very much welcome contribution.
Randor - I hope he finds his way back.
We also have Underdog filling in your Production of the Week, N.D.'s hanging around somewhere, and hopefully he can help us get some coding done when we're ready to rock and roll. And all of us are still keeping a watchful eye on the forums, reported reviews and links, dead banners, and so on.
I don't think shutting down is the proper course for a site as large and important as this one. Yes, sites come and go, but is now CTG's time? I think the answer to that is a clear and resounding "no".
Artist of the month
For the forseeable future, AoTM is on hold, as there are far more important things to look after where our community is concerned.
Contrary to popular belief, Randor has not eloped with one of his cows from his farm, in fact he's had issues which prevent him from logging into CTG. We have been corresponding with Randor, and he's eager to get back here and help the cause with pushing CTG in the right direction.
Changes will not happen overnight, bu rest assured, we are working on it. The current staff members are coming together as a team, and discussing the future of our community. We've been playing with ideas for a good while now, and the motivation is high to get it accomplished.
On behalf of everyone at CTG, we wish all of our users a prosperous 2008, and hope you enjoy your stay with CTG.